Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Building a Commitment to Learning: Art to Stem

(from Alignment Nashville newsletter)

The out-of-school time career exploration program, "Art to STEM" is off and running with 125 girls at six Nashville middle school sites including West End, Croft, Oliver, Joelton, Apollo, and DuPont Tyler. A seventh site is currently being added at Thurgood Marshall.

Activities for the girls will tie their interests in creativity and art to possible education and career options in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Currently activities are focused on the design process. The girls are designing animated "creatures" using a virtual reality software which will then be produced and returned to them to demonstrate rapid prototyping. Girls will make site visits to three companies this week to see how these creative and technological skills are used in the workplace and will visit Tennessee Tech on Saturday.

Community agencies participating include Girl Scouts, Adventure Science Center, PENCIL, Tennessee State University, and Tennessee Tech. The effort's goal is to help girls make informed decisions about their high school career academy choices. Funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Commitment to Learning is one of the 8 categories of Developmental Assets, proven to nurture healthy communities and healthy youth.